Jennifer Worth was born Jennifer Lee in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex on September 25, 1935. She trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, and then moved to London to train as a midwife. She later worked at the Royal London Hospital, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in Euston, and the Marie Curie Hospital in Hampstead. She left nursing in 1973 to study music. She received the Licentiate of the London College of Music in 1974 and was awarded a Fellowship ten years later. She taught and performed solo and in choirs throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. When she felt her musical talents ebbing, she turned to writing. She wrote three books about her experience as a midwife: Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, and Farewell to the East End. These books are the basis of the BBC television series Call the Midwife. Her other works include Food Allergy: The Hidden Cause? and In the Midst of Life. She died of cancer on May 31, 2011 at the age of 75.